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Shmla’s sanitation workers on strike again, MC plans to outsource SHEB Society to private contractor

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SHEB workers alleged the Mayor of using inappropriate and abusive language when they approached her office to discuss their demands. The workers have demanded an apology from the Mayor.

Shimla: Shimla Municipal Corporation is mulling over plans to outsource work of door-to-door garbage collection to private contractors. The entire sanitation work of Shimla Heritage and Beautification Society (SHEB) costs 4.4 crores rupees per year to MC.  Some private contractors are believed to have their eyes on this amount.

Following it, SHEB Society has warned the Corporation of fast until death if the work is outsourced.

It is pertinent to mention that the SHEB Workers’ Union has initiated a five- day strike from September 1 due to which the sanitation condition of the capital city is likely to get uglier. Along with their demands including a hike in monthly wages, MC’s plan to outsource their work to private hands is another reason for this strike.

Currently, over 900 sanitation workers are employed in garbage collection in Shimla city. The workers said they are paid only Rs. 5800 per month only, which is not sufficient. They are demanding minimum Rs. 10500 as monthly wages.

Though the Mayor of Shimla, Kusum Sadret, denied having any such plans, the proposal for the invitation of tenders was, in fact, presented before the MC House for approval a few days ago.

The copy of the proposal shows that it was duly signed by the MC Health Officer and the Commissioner. The proposal said the SHEB Society is not working properly. The wages of the workers were hiked by 10 percent recently, but still, the workers are threatening to go on strike from September 1, 2017, as they are not satisfied with it.

It is requested to outsource this work of door to door garbage collection by floating tenders from companies/NGOs, Consortium, firms, professionals or individuals for same,

said the proposal.

Previous Mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan, condemned this step. He said after coming into power at MC House, Bhartiya Janata Party is trying to privatize the work to benefit their favorites.

The door to door garbage collection facility was launched in 2010. The work was then given to a private company by the BJP-ruled state government. The company had failed in executing the work. Therefore, the work was given to SHEB Society. Workers were recruited and the facility worked efficiently.

As compared to 35 tons of garbage in 2012, currently the SMC is collecting 70 to 80 tons of garbage daily.

Chauhan said that currently 90 percent houses are connected with door to door garbage collection facility. He said the SHEB workers are regularly discharging their duty even in unfavorable weather conditions.

The capital has a waste treatment plant equipped with modern technology that converts garbage into electricity.

During his tenure, Chauhan added, the MC had passed a proposal to consider the SHEB workers as the Corporation employees and sent it to the state government for approval. Hundreds of posts are vacant in MC due to recruitment policy of the government, he said. 

However, the current MC is planning to hand over the SHEB Society to private hands where the workers would be exploited to extract maximum benefit, he said. 

Apparently, the private contractor would be interested in paying minimum wages and take maximum work from these workers.

He said the CPI (M) would not hesitate to launch a campaign against the MC if the decision to outsource SHEB Society is not withdrawn.

The SHEB workers also alleged the Mayor of using inappropriate and abusive language when they approached her office to discuss their demands. The workers said she started hurling abuses at them as soon as they reach the door of her office,

The workers have demanded a written apology from the Mayor.

The Mayor, however, denies these allegations and said the strike by the workers is a pre-planned move. She said it is not feasible to make more hikes in their wages at all. She said the last decision over the demands of the workers will be taken on September 11 after a meeting with the Minister of Urban Development.

The Mayor has also warned the workers of stern action if they continued with their strike.

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Covid Orphans Seven Children in Himachal So Far, To be Placed Under Foster Care

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Shimla-The Corona pandemic has not only adversely affected the economy but has also devastated families. The deadly second wave has orphaned several children in Himachal Pradesh. There are instances where the children lost both their parents and left in the lurch. In other cases, life has become hard for children with a single parent, especially those coming from economically weaker backgrounds. Such children are forced to confront not only hardships, but they are also traumatized.

According to the official data, as of now seven children in the State have been orphaned due to Covid-19 and all these children were living with their kith and kin.

The Government said it had approached their guardians but they have refused to send the children to the Child Care Institutions. Therefore, the directions have been issued to the field officers to initiate action for placing them under foster care and provide Rs. 2500 per child per month up to the age of 18 years to the foster parents/children.

The state government also said that those children who are enrolled in Child Care Institutions and are temporarily restored to their families due to closure of schools amid the Covid pandemic would be provided Rs. 2000 per month to enable them to continue their online education. Presently 598 children were being benefitted under this Scheme, the state government claimed.

Further, the children up to the age of 18 years who either have lost their parents or are suffering from Covid would be provided shelter and care in Child Care Institutions.

The employees working in these institutions have been declared as frontline workers for purpose of vaccination.

Under the Mother Teresa Asahay Matri Sambal Yojna, financial assistance of Rs. 6000 per child per annum was being provided to widows for maintenance of two children up to the age of 18 years. Families whose annual income does not exceed Rs. 35000 were being covered under this Scheme, the government informed.

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Weather Alert in Himachal, Heavy Rainfall and Hailstorm Predicted for Two Days

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Shimla-With the onset of Western Disturbances in northern India, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has issued a yellow alert for May 18th, 19th and 20th in the plain/low hills and middle hills. For higher hills, a yellow alert has been issued for May 19th and 20th with predictions of heavy rain in most areas and chances of snow in some parts.

The meteorological department has issued a yellow alert for Una, Bilaspur, Kangra, Hamirpur, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur. In some areas of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur, the higher hill areas can receive snowfall.

The minimum temperature recorded in Shimla on Tuesday was 16.3 degree Celsius, 15.3 in Sunder Nagar, 12.1 in Bhuntar, 7.1 in Kalpa, 16.0 in Dharamshala, 20.8 in Una, 19.5 in Nahan, 3.0 in Kelang, 18.0 in Palampur, 16.0 in Solan, 10.0 in Manali, 19.0 in Kangra, 15.0 in Mandi, 16.8 in Bilaspur, 17.2 in Hamirpur, 14.0 in Chamba, 17.0 in Dalhousie and 14.4 degree Celsius in Kufri.

The maximum temperature recorded on Monday in Una was 40.4 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature in Bilaspur was 39.5, 38.8 in Hamirpur, 35.4 in Kangra, 35.0 in Nahan, 34.4 in Sunder Nagar, 34.3 in Chamba, 33.1 in Bhuntar, 31.6 in Solan, 27.4 in Dharamshala, 26.6 in Shimla, 22.0 in Kalpa, 21.3 in Dalhousie and 17.2 degree Celsius in Kelang.

As defined by the Met department, low hills/plains cover Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Parts of District of Kangra (Nurpur, Jwala and Dehra), Solan (Nalagarh, Baddi, Arki and Kunihar), and Sirmaur (Nahan and Ponta Sahib.

Middle hills cover Shimla, mandi, Kullu, some parts of Chamba (Sihunta, Chowari and Chamba), and most parts of Solan and Sirmaur district.

Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Chamba, Upper parts of Kullu and Mandi falls in the higher hills.

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Himachal: 58 More Patients Succumb to Covid-19, Total Active Cases Reach 36,633

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Shimla-The death toll in Himachal Pradesh reached 2,369 on Monday after 58 patients of coronavirus succumbed to severe symptoms of the infection. According to official data released by the state government, 3,546 new cases of coronavirus were detected in the last 24-hours. This takes the total cases of infection in the state to 1,63,786 out of which 36,633 are active cases.

With 24 deaths, the Kangra district reported the highest number of casualties on Monday.  The district also reported the highest 1241 cases. The Solan district reported 10 fatalities in the last 24-hours.; while at the same time, Shimla reported seven deaths. 45 patients who succumbed to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours had no comorbidities while 16 patients were under the age of 50. Out of 13,556 Covid tests that were run across the state, 647 remain awaited.

Also Read: Himachal’s Positivity and Fatality Rates for Last Week High at 28.9% and 1.52% Respectively

 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 17, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

covid cases in himachal pradesh on may 17

The state government opened the vaccination drive for people in the 18-44 age group category on Monday. A total of 23,319 people received their first dose of vaccine across the state. While only 90 people across the state received their second dose of vaccine on Monday. 4,34,604 people have received both doses of the Covid vaccine by Monday. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Monday that for the latest vaccination drive, 213 centers have been set up in the state.  Under the 18-44 age group, 21,090 people have already booked their slots.  CM Thakur also urged people to observe Covid-prevention protocols like wearing face masks and sanitising hands at the Centres.

The next day of vaccination for 18-44 years is on Thursday and the sessions for the same would be made available on the COWIN portal on Tuesday. Other sessions for the vaccination would be held on May 24, May 27, and May 31. 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths in Himachal Pradesh for May 17, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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